Friday, September 29, 2017

Moon and Tower in Foshan

moon next to the Bell Tower at Foshan Lingnan Tiandi
Bell Tower at Foshan Lingnan Tiandi

This should be the last post for September. Things have been somewhat light here lately, but I have much bigger plans for October. Enjoy the rest of the month.

Vivo & Oppo: More Mobile Color in China

Contrasting phones from Apple and Xiaomi appeared in a recent post. For more color, two current promotions in Guangzhou for the Chinese brands Vivo and Oppo.

ad for Vivo X20

Oppo promotion at an Oppo store

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Selfie Dress for Sale in Zhuhai

One recent post referenced a sign at the Zhuhai Port Plaza underground shopping mall. A more recent post referenced a new mobile phone from Xiaomi marketed as being great for selfies. While looking for something else, I realized I had a photo of something which brings these two topics together: a  dress on sale for 35 yuan (about US $5.30) at the Zhuhai Port Plaza.

dress with camouflage pattern and the word "Selfie"

Among other possibilities, the "Selfie" dress would be fitting for somebody interested in taking a meta-selfie.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Apple & Xiaomi, Red & Blue in China

iPhone7 Red advertisement in Zhuhai

Like elsewhere in the world, Apple sells red iPhones in China. Unlike elsewhere in the world, Apple's promotions for the phones make no mention of their connection to (RED) — a charity that directs contributions to be "invested in HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, with a focus on countries with high prevalence of mother-to-child transmission of HIV". In addition to Chinese sensitivities regarding AIDS and (RED) displaying a picture of the Dalai Lama on its Instagram page, Josh Horwitz suggested another possible reason for Apple's notable omission:
Overseas charities like (RED) occupy a precarious position in China. A law enacted in January requires all foreign NGOs operating in the country to find government sponsors, register with the police, and submit yearly reports on their financing, plus jump through other hurdles. The regulations, which remain frustratingly vague, have sparked fear among nonprofits in China. Some worry that the government might use the rules as a pretext to kick them out of the country.

Shawn Shieh, a Hong Kong-based expert on Chinese civil society, says it’s possible Apple’s partnership with (Red) could be seen by authorities in China as incompatible with parts of the law.
Apple hasn't publicly clarified the issue. In any case, it isn't hard to spots the localized promotions for the phone at stores in China.

And now at some Guangzhou metro stations, and presumably many other places in China, it isn't hard to spot signs of a blue phone recently released in China — in fact, only in China.

Mi Note 3 advertisement in a Guangzhou metro station

Mi Note 3 advertisement in a Guangzhou metro station

Xiaomi's Mi Note 3 is also available in black though. And it has no stated connection to any charities. Instead, Xiaomi promotes it as a great phone for selfies. In a review of the phone, Mitja Rutnik describes some of the hardware and software which may lead to a more beautiful you, at least in your selfies:
With a powerful 16MP front facing camera, it is clear that Xiaomi is really trying to capture the imagination of its beautify-addicted user base, as it was clear in their marketing for the phone. Crazy video packages and gorgeous models aside, the phone uses face scanning to find the different zones of face and provide more accurate (if that is even the word to use) changes to the user’s visage. Eyes can be pinpointed for enlargement, the chin can be singled out for easier slimming, and the cheeks can be airbrushed to remove spots, to name a few options.

There are even different settings in order to add what could be described as “virtual makeup” to take it to the next level. Xiaomi even made a big deal about their new AI Beautify working for men just as well as women.
Even though it makes less explicit mention of color, Xiaomi's marketing may be deliberately playing off people's awareness of the red iPhone, particularly in the Mi Note 3 ad with strong contrasting blue and red colors. In any case, at the moment both Apple and Xiaomi likely face more direct competition from other companies, such as Huawei and Oppo. More about those companies and their promotions, colorful or not, another day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reflection, Sweetness, and Rest in Foshan

Charming Bridge (韵桥) at Liang Garden (梁园)
Charming Bridge (韵桥) at Liang Garden (梁园)

Durian and black glutinous rice with frozen coconut milk (榴莲忘返)
Durian and black glutinous rice with frozen coconut milk (榴莲忘返)

man sleeping on a stone bench at Zhongshan Park in Foshan
Zhongshan Park

And to those who will be celebrating a new year, Shanah Tovah.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mistaking All at a Shopping Mall in Foshan

For a brief amount of time on a recent day, I thought the two shopping centers in Zhuhai with signs stating "All you can get here" and "All is here" had been upstaged by a mall in Foshan — a city bordering Guangzhou and not far away from Zhuhai. But then I looked at another sign and realized I was not now at the All Shopping Mall. Instead, both of the Ls in "All" were actually the number one.

A11 Shopping Mall sign in Foshan

I am tempted to argue the A11 Shopping Mall should have a used a font in their logo which makes a clear distinction between the two characters. But I would like to hear their logic for this design. Perhaps the similarity is intentional, though that isn't necessarily a good justification.

In any case, their online presence does clearly make use of two number ones in their name. So yet again, sometimes all is not as it appears.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Parts and All of All at Two Shopping Centers in Zhuhai

The Zhuhai Port Plaza underground shopping mall has a sign with a claim.

Port Plaza promotional sign with the words "All You Can Get Here"

Given the context, the phrase "all you can get here" encompasses the items shown below. Indeed, all of them, such as food, shopping, beauty salons, and transportation, are available. In fact, more can be found there. And two years ago I even saw some Baltimore Ravens boxer shorts on sale for 25 RMB (about U.S. $3.90 then).

Suffice it to say, a lot of stuff can be found at the Port Plaza, which sits just in front of the Gongbei Port immigration checkpoint at the border with Macau.

But the more upscale shopping area at the Midtown complex, about three kilometers away and also in the Gongbei subdistrict of Zhuhai, makes a much stronger claim.

"All Is Here" sign

In this case, the "all" doesn't appear to be limited to the items below. That only leaves all of all.

Competition is fierce. And that's all.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Medicina Chinesa and B.S. Medical Signs in Macau

I have had a cold for the past few days. At first I thought it would be low impact and quick. The cold has had other ideas though.

So in that spirit, I will share photos of two contrasting signs for medical establishments I recently noticed in Macau.

The first sign is for the Mestre de Medicina Chinesa Kong Tong Sam on Rua de Coelho do Amaral.

sign for the Mestre de Medicina Chinesa Kong Tong Sam in Macau

I liked the look of the sign.

The second sign is for a medical center with a focus on dermatology on Rua da Colina.

sign for the B.S. Medical Center in Macau

In this case I was struck by its English name — in particular, my first reading of "B.S." as "bullshit". For the obvious reasons, I doubt that was intended though.

In all likelihood, "B.S." represents the first letters of the romanization of the first two Chinese characters in its name. It also may be no coincidence that the doctor who practices there uses the English name Dr. Benny Si.

If I were now in Macau, I probably would have just gone to an outlet of a familiar health care and beauty chainstore with a pharmacy and picked up some medicine there. But these two places definitely have more interesting signs.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pork Delivery in Zhuhai

On the day after Typhoon Hato hit, I saw something in Zhuhai which may have been connected to the typhoon in some way, but it was also something I wouldn't be shocked to see most other days. That said, it isn't something I see often, and for a moment it took my thoughts away from all of the storm damage I had just seen and walked through.

A pig carcass unexpectedly zooming past on an electric bicycle can have such an effect.

The feet dragging on the ground took it up a notch. But at least the pig carcass didn't appear to be at risk of completely falling to ground as what happened on a grander scale last year in Florida:
At least four pig carcasses, which were not secured properly, splattered onto the roadway, creating a gruesome scene captured by WTVT-Ch. 13's helicopter camera. It also backed up traffic for miles starting around 8 a.m. as emergency crews worked to clean up the remains, blocking the northbound right and center lanes.

As the Fox 13 helicopter roamed overhead while streaming a live feed to Facebook, Floridians totally freaked out online.
I didn't notice anybody freaking out over the passing carcass in Zhuhai. Had it splattered onto the street, though, it might have gained a little more attention.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Moving On From Typhoon Scenes

large fallen sign on ground
Another scene in Zhuhai shortly after Typhoon Hato

I don't plan to add more to add to recent series of posts here about Typhoon Hato's impact in Zhuhai and in Macau. There are some odd and ends I could still share, but I am eager to move on to other topics. Plus, with Hurricane Harvey recently hitting Houston, the devastating flooding in South Asia killing over 1,400 people, and Hurricane Irma now in the process of wreaking more havoc, I figure there is some good in delivering something other than storm-related news.

I don't know if there is a good way to segue from such a topic, so I will just . . .

OK, the first few figures of speech that innocuously came to mind seem inappropriately related to water, so I won't even try that method.

Other topics soon.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Aftermath of Typhoon Hato in Macau: A Major Cleanup Effort Three Days After the Storm

Closed shops on Rua da Pedra in Macau
Closed shops on Rua da Pedra in Macau

Typhoon Hato not only caused significant damage in Zhuhai but in neighboring Macau as well. Three days after the storm hit I crossed the land border which separates the cities to spend some time in Macau. I had just learned electricity had finally been restored to most of Macau, and I assumed enough debris would have been removed that walking through the dense city would not be problematic. Given the relatively limited amount of time I spent in Macau, I won't be doing as extensive of an overview of the the typhoon's impact there. Instead, I will simply share some of what I saw that afternoon and evening in the city, which admittedly was much more than I had expected.

After I passed through Portas do Cerco, the immigration checkpoint on the Macau side of the border, I saw one of a few downed trees still around at the pedestrian street on Istmo de Ferreira do Amaral.

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato

But later I was relieved to see that the large trees at the Chuk Lam Temple (竹林寺) all remained standing.

Like several groceries stores I saw, the several 7-Elevens, common in Macau, I stopped by all had mostly empty shelves where items such as milk and and fresh juice were usually kept cool.

But at a street wet market in the Three Lamps District, along with vegetables and other foods, I saw the usually full selection of roasted meats.

One of the more notable impacts of the storm could be seen on Avenida do Almirante Lacerda Santo Antonio where, unlike the any of the areas I had seen in Gongbei, Zhuhai, many stores and other businesses still remained closed.

The Lok Kei Cafe, part of what had brought me to the street, was fortunately open, and I enjoyed an appropriate local-style afternoon snack there: a pork chop bun.

While there I learned they had just reopened that day and the water had reached the countertops during the storm. Not only did that explain the many stores at the street level which remained closed, but it also made me think of a nearby below-ground grocery I had been to last year. The story of the flooding also likely helped explain the booming business at one place I later passed not far away: a repair shop for electric vehicles.

What stood out most that day, though, was the large number of volunteers, police, sanitation crews, and other people participating in a massive cleanup effort due to damage from the extensive flooding. The immense amount of disposed items was striking as well. The following series of photos which conclude this post were taken from the late afternoon until evening on the western side of the Macau Peninsula. The photos are presented generally in the order they were taken, most with street names in Portuguese — one of Macau's official languages due to its past as a Portuguese colony. In addition to the extensive cleanup efforts, not all of which meant disposing damaged items, the set also includes two photos from a tourist area. Walking a few steps from some of the other scenes and reaching an area where all appeared mostly normal, except perhaps for smaller than usual crowds on a Saturday night, seemed surreal. The amount and type of items being disposed nearby seemed surreal as well.

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua de João de Araújo
Rua de João de Araújo

classical Chinese style furniture on Rua da Palmeira
Rua da Palmeira

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Travessa dos Calafates
Travessa dos Calafates

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato using heavy machinery at Rua da Ribeira do Patane
Rua da Ribeira do Patane

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua dos Faitioes
Rua dos Faitioes

repair work at a supermarket on Rua de Cinco de Outubro
Rua de Cinco de Outubro

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua de Cinco de Outubro
Rua de Cinco de Outubro

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua do Infante
Rua do Infante

piles of trash at Largo do Pagode do Bazar
Largo do Pagode do Bazar

broken Chinese vase in a trash bin
In front of the Hong Kung Temple

Refrigerated drink display disposed at Largo do Pagode do Bazar
Largo do Pagode do Bazar

Cleaning up at the O-Moon gift shop on Rua de Cinco de Outubro
The O-Moon gift shop on Rua de Cinco de Outubro

Hong Kung Temple
Hong Kung Temple

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua de Cinco de Outubro
Rua de Cinco de Outubro

small broken sculpture standing on Rua das Estalagens
Rua das Estalagens

Police moving debris on Rua das Estalagens
Rua das Estalagens

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua das Estalagens
Rua das Estalagens

disposed plates on Rua das Estalagens
Rua das Estalagens

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo
Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo

porcelain shop on Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo
Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo
Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua da Tercena
Rua da Tercena

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato on Rua da Tercena
Rua da Tercena

Crazy Barista on Rua da Tercena
The now permanently closed Crazy Barista on Rua da Tercena

Pile of trash on Rua da Tercena
On Rua da Tercena

Rua de São Paulo in the evening
Rua de São Paulo

Ruins of St. Paul's in Macau in the early evening
Ruins of St. Paul's

Reporter at Rua de Cinco de Outubro
Rua de Cinco de Outubro

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato at night on Rua de Cinco de Outubro
Rua de Cinco de Outubro

Cleanup from Typhoon Hato at night on Rua das Estalagens
Rua das Estalagens